Orchestrating Unwired Computing
Coffee: Until there are hot spots everywhere, applications must pretendor protest.Theres a wonderful irony in going to New York City to promote technologies that try to make us independent of location. Being a Manhattan native myself, Im allowed to call that island a monument to the idea that being in a particular place is worth any amount of cost and nuisance--even as Intels Centrino announcement, held there last week, sought to assure us that the future of working from anywhere is both affordable and convenient. In terms of hardware, Intel is certainly correct, but someone has to write the applications that can handle this new mode of only-almost-always connection. Theres another irony for you: Just when weve finished rewriting our applications to make good use of persistent Internet access, we need to relearn the art of writing them to deal with intermittent loss of that network link. As eWEEK Editor in Chief Eric Lundquist observed while en route to the Centrino announcement, it will be a while before there are wireless hot spots everywhere wed like. Fortunately, Iona Technologies is applying its considerable skills to just that problem. As we near the April 7th date of announcing our third annual list of eWEEK eXcellence Award winners, Ill confess that its always a relief when a previous winner of one of those awards--such as Iona--continues to live up to that distinction: Considering the hundreds of outstanding products that we have to decline the chance to honor each year, its comforting to be able to say, "See? We told you these guys were good."
Ionas Mobile Orchestrator targets a critical goal for the next generation of productivity: "Automatically adapts application behavior in response to connection status and speed," as the bullet list of product features claims. Thats long been one of my exhortations to the industry: that applications should use whatever resources of bandwidth and data they can get, but not make your life miserable when they dont get as much as theyd like. (One of the few things I really want from the forthcoming Microsoft Office 11, for example, is just that promised improvement in the remote-client behavior of Microsofts Outlook.)